Craig Meyer's West High School Football Notebook (Oct. 30, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's this week's edition of Craig Meyer's West High School Football Notebook.

"For four years, the Hopewell football team had the ultimate personnel advantage.

It was during that four-year span when the Vikings' backfield was graced by Rushel Shell, the state's all-time leading rusher and one of the most accomplished players to come out of Western Pennsylvania over the past two decades.

With 9,078 career yards, he tormented opposing defenses and, in the process, helped lead his team to a WPIAL championship game appearance in 2009 that marked the height of a strong and successful run.

Since then, however, much has changed."



Football: West Top Games - WPIAL Playoffs: First Round (2014)

Written by staff reports on .

Here's a look at three of the top games involving West teams in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Mars (6-3) at Montour (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. - The game features two of the hottest teams that didn't win their conferences. Montour is on a four-game winning streak, including back-to-back wins over playoff teams Upper St. Clair (AAAA) and Moon (AAA) and has allowed just four touchdowns in the last four weeks combined. Mars is on a two-game winning streak, having knocked off previously undefeated Hampton last week. The Planets have also allowed just two TDs in the last two games. Montour's David Haselu has scored five touchdowns in the last two games and Mars' Ori Rinaman scored twice against Hampton as both teams tend to stay on the ground.


Football: Two West teams finish as they started -- undefeated

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Two local teams finished the regular season undefeated – Central Valley and Aliquippa. Although there was a time that an undefeated season was almost a lock to get a top seed in the playoffs, that isn't true anymore as 12 WPIAL teams finished the season undefeated.

Central Valley did earn the top seed but Aliquippa was the second seed behind defending WPIAL and PIAA Champion South Fayette, one of the other four undefeated teams in Class AA.

Each local undefeated team provided their own types of excitement, though. Central Valley weathered the storm of having to replace an injured starting quarterback and came out even better. Chris Callaghan passed for over 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns in relief of John George, who finished with almost 600 yards and seven touchdowns. George is healthy now.


Boys Soccer: Class AA semifinals a Section 5 affair between West teams

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A quick look at the Class AA WPIAL semifinal brackets would give a fan the idea this will be a matter of going through the motions. South Park is a perfect 20-0-0 and every other team has at least three losses.

But the bracket deserves more than a quick look. The other three teams – South Fayette, Quaker Valley, and West Allegheny – all come from Section 5-AA, where the level of competition makes an undefeated season nothing but a pipe dream.

West Allegheny is the defending WPIAL Class AA champion and the Section 5-AA champion but drew only the No. 3 seed in the pairings and will face section foe and No. 15 seed Quaker Valley. In the regular season, the Indians won both games, 2-1, on the road and 1-0 at home. The Indians are on a roll now, winning their first two playoff games by a combined score of 14-1.

West Allegheny has won 13 of its last 14 games, losing, 1-0, to Class AAA Seneca Valley in the regular-season finale. The Indians have allowed more than one goal in only three of their 20 games.


Boys Soccer: Season over for Class A West teams, others

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Locally, Class A soccer has been strong with Riverside winning a recent title and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Beaver County Christian School both reaching the WPIAL finals.

This year, despite have two teams seeded in the top eight, the Class A playoffs are over for local teams – and the only playoff win came from the lowest seed – 11th seeded OLSH.

Fourth-seeded Carlynton fell to Geibel Catholic in a shootout in the opening round and seventh-seeded Freedom fell to Riverview, 3-1. OLSH got past Seton-LaSalle, 1-0, in the first round but fell to third seeded Vincentian, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round.

In Class AA, only defending champ West Allegheny remains, as South Fayette eliminated two local teams. In the first round, Central Valley fell to the Lions, 2-0, and in the second round, South Fayette edged Ambridge, 2-1. Ambridge had beaten Indiana, 4-1, in the first round. The other local playoff team, Beaver, was eliminated in the preliminary round by Quaker Valley, 2-1.